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Negoation Essay

4114 words - 17 pages

Managing Negotiation
Introduction
From reaching an agreement with a large client to bargaining for a higher starting salary, the ability to negotiate effectively is a critical component of success in business. One fundamental aspect of a negotiation is if it will be approached as distributive bargaining or as an integrative negotiation. Distributive bargaining is a competitive, zero-sum negotiation in which there are a limited amount of resources available, while integrative negotiation takes place when “the parties’ goals are not seen as mutually exclusive and in which the focus is on making it possible for both sides to achieve their objectives” (Nelson and Quick 2009). For ...view middle of the document...

The situational context of the negotiation, such as varying deadlines, power, or the number of negotiators involved, was also a central part of early research. These studies strengthened understanding of the influence of different variables on negotiations, but they were limited by the fact that they generally relied on factors that were outside of the control of individual negotiators (Bazerman et al 2000).
The main focus of research shifted towards Behavioral Decision Research (BDR) in the 1980’s. At first, scholars considered situations in which each negotiator is assumed to behave in a fully rational way throughout the process. The work of researchers like Howard Raiffa, who wrote The Art and Science of Negotiation in 1982, made people more cognizant of the need to recognize the actual characteristics of negotiators. For instance, many individuals enter into negotiations with a defined “game plan” of strategies and rules that they use to guide them once the bargaining starts (Mitchell 1985). Scholars recognized that people rely on simplifying strategies to make decisions, and that therefore they tended to make predictable mistakes in negotiations (Bazerman et al 2000). For example, research found that individuals are generally “overconfident and overly optimistic about the likelihood of attaining outcomes that favor themselves” (Bazerman et al 2000). This type of bias can be an obstacle to successful negotiation, because each party involved will believe that they are entitled to rewards that are greater than the value of their contribution. Understanding these obstacles so that negotiators can be aware of avoiding them is one of the main advantages of the BDR approach.
More recently, the field of negotiation research has seen a re-emergence of studies dealing with individual characteristics and situational context, but with integration of important lessons learned from BDR. Four aspects that influence negotiations that have been identified through this research are social relationships, ego-centrism, motivated illusions, and emotion. A 1995 study found that people in close social relationships frequently negotiate inferior outcomes to strangers who do not care about the other negotiator (Valley et al 1995). The reason behind this counterintuitive outcome is that close friends or spouses tend to compromise on all issues, rather than outlining exactly what their most important interests are in the negotiation. Another factor, building on the finding of BDR studies, is ego-centrism of negotiators who assign too much importance to views that favor their own side. (Bazerman et al 2000) This common trait is related to “motivated illusions,” or the tendency of people to have an unrealistically positive view of their own abilities. For instance, in 1993 a class of MBA students was asked to predict if their bargaining outcomes would fall in the upper 25% of the class – 68% of the students predicted that they would (Kramer et al 1993)....

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